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Nat'l Weather (9pm) October 26 2004


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Plenty of precipitation is headed for the Rockies and the Southwest

9:12 P.M. ET 10/26/2004


Tom Moore, Senior Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





Much of the West will pick up some badly needed rain and snow on Wednesday. Only Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, northern California and southwest Arizona seem likely to remain dry. Heavy snow is expected in the mountains of Southern California (above 5500 feet), the southern Sierra Nevada, the higher elevations of southern Nevada, and the mountains of Utah. Winter storm warnings are posted for a number of locations. Up to two feet of fresh snow has buried the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe in the Sierras. In lower elevations, locally heavy rain is forecast for Southern California. Isolated eight-inch rain totals (and flash flooding) are possible in the mountains near L.A. and San Diego. Be careful if you take to the roadways in the morning.



A weak front draped from West Texas through the mid-South will continue to provide a focus for scattered showers and thundershowers as tropical moisture continues to ride in. Another weak boundary extending from a low in the Ohio Valley southward to Alabama will provide a second focus, with a few showers reaching eastward over the southern Appalachians. Most of this rain will be on the light side, however. Mostly sunny skies seem likely over the Florida Peninsula, and in southern Mississippi, Louisiana and eastern Texas. High temperatures should range from the 60s in much of North Carolina to the low 90s in far south Texas. Temperatures topping out in the upper 80s along and near the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts may lead to more record highs there.



Rain will move out of most of the Plains and Midwest on Wednesday but some cloudiness will remain. Showers will linger in the upper Ohio Valley as a weak low-pressure center struggles to move eastward. High temperatures are likely to be near to somewhat above late October averages, ranging from the 40s in northeast Minnesota to the 70s in the lower Ohio Valley, southern Missouri and Kansas.



A strong ridge of high pressure will result in clearing skies across Northern New England and Upstate New York, while farther south a few showers may dampen parts of West Virginia and Virginia. Elsewhere, partly to mostly cloudy skies will prevail. High temperatures will continue to run near seasonal averages, ranging from the 40s in northern Maine to the 60s from New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania southward.

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